Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Future of France (And Europe)

After twelve days of rioting, it looks like France finally has decided to do something. They have declared a state of emergency, although it is not yet clear what that means. They could send in the army, which might be able to do something even after its brilliant record throughout history. However, the situation does show us a glimpse of the future.

First off, this shows just how great the French government really is. They keep talking about how bad the riots are, and how they should be stopped, but they are not willing to do anything. Just like their terrorism policy. No matter how bad it gets they don't act until its much too late, and then they just try to look busy. They could have declared the state of emergency as soon as they realized things were out of control, but they kept waiting.

Riots are nothing new. They have occurred several times throughout history. Luckily, most of the damage throughout the riot so far has been of property, and not of human life, although some deaths have occurred. Still, shouldn't France be better prepared? Shouldn't they have an effective riot police for this kind of stuff? Can't their army do something, or if not, what do they actually do all day?

This riot isn't too surprising given the circumstances of France. Their economic policies have taken a toll on the people, and it is really showing now. Jobs are hard to come by, the reduced work hours ensure that nothing gets done, and the lower-class citizens aren't happy. It should be no surprise they chose to riot. No one would listen to them. If they couldn't get the government to solve their problems, what can they do? The fact that they decided to take matters into their own hands shows that there are people in Europe who are willing to do something, it is just that these people aren't in charge, so everyone gets to suffer.

It doesn't help that the riots have lost all meaning right now. Sure, it started because two kids died, even though they shouldn't have been hiding in a power substation in the first place. That was enough to start the riot. Now, they can say that African and Arab immigrants in France are ignored, and have a reason to keep fighting. It seems to me that they are rioting in part just because everyone else is doing it. Who cares if we have a good cause? Let's set some cars on fire!

Speaking of which, the economic impact is going to be tough for all. I'm not sure if it was thought of this way, but there is a clever chain of events that can damage France's economy here. If your car is a smoldering hunk of metal, you can't get to work. If you can't get to work, how do you get money? You still need money to pay the bills. And at the same time, the government is expecting you to pay high taxes to support their social programs. Isn't that great that you get to help pay for the guy who torched your car?

So now that the individuals have been ruined, the damage spreads. The government needs the tax money, so everyone else gets taxed more. So people have less money, everyone is angry at the government, they might want to join in the rioting to express their anger. There are already a lot of rioters, but imagine if the entire working class began rioting and striking. That could be on the scale of a revolution.

We know that France is almost at socialism. They are about ¾ or more of the way there, and they aren't showing any signs of stopping. According to Marx, socialism is the last step before communism. They are pretty close, and we could have a revolution here. I believe that Europe's policies will slowly strange the entire continent, and that eventually most nations will resort to communism or martial law. I never thought it could happen this soon. I thought it would be ten or fifteen years at the earliest. There is the possibility that if more people riot, a state of social unrest could exist, leading to anarchy, and who knows what will happen then.

The government has already shown they have no idea what to do and they can't offer much help. They tell the people to stay calm, and say not to form militias to defend themselves. If they can't get the government to protect them, what are they supposed to do? Should they move all their valuables outside so they are easier to steal as well? They need to come forward, admit they made some huge mistakes, and do something. They need to stop the riots using whatever force is necessary.

If they are unable to stop the riots, they will continue to spread. Human lives will begin to be targeted. More people will join. There is a small possibility this could be a new revolution in France. Even if it is not, it is a hint of what is to come in the very near future. France is only part of Europe. Still, most countries in Europe have policies like France. They are all headed in the same direction, and they should see what is in line for them. If they don't try to fix their problems now, the future doesn't look to bright for them.

Where can they start? Capitalism would be a good thing. They need to realize that controlling the economy is a bad thing, that the more you try to control companies, the less they are able to produce. Thus, they make less money, the government keeps asking for more, and you get a bunch of people without jobs, and then blame the companies for not hiring enough. Another idea: lose socialism. If people don't want to work, fine. They can starve. Don't force everyone else to pay for them. Europe is on a bad path right now, but they can fix it, if they try very hard. However, they probably will ignore everything, like they continue to do, and in the end, will end up as the People's States of Europe.

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